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Friday 9 December 2016

Neville not fazed by Valencia debut

New Valencia boss Gary Neville
New Valencia boss Gary Neville

Gary Neville will adopt a typically nerveless approach on his debut in the Valencia dugout tonight when the former Manchester United defender makes his first foray into senior management.

The 40-year-old, who has worked alongside Roy Hodgson as an assistant coach with England and as a television pundit since retiring in 2011, will be aiming to secure the three points against Olympique Lyonnais that might keep his new club’s Champions League campaign alive.

The meeting with the French side will be a high-pressure baptism for the eight-times English Premier League winner, but Neville is unfazed by the challenge.

“I don’t know if it’s dangerous but I don’t feel anxious at all,” Neville said. “Maybe that’s good, maybe that’s bad. I don’t know as I’ve never been in this position before.

“Obviously, I’ve been a coach with England and I don’t feel anxious before England games either.

“Maybe I did as a player a little bit, but as a coach I’ve never felt that way working under Roy (Hodgson) with England and I don’t feel that way today,” added the former full back, who won two Champions League medals with Manchester United.

Valencia trail Ghent by a point with one game remaining in the group stages, leaving Neville hoping his team can achieve a better result than that of the Belgians in their meeting with Zenit St Petersburg.

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